EYEWITNESS NEWS (WBRE/WYOU)— On August 22, the SEIU Healthcare Union voted to go on strike in 24 nursing homes across Pennsylvania.
According to the union, nursing homes received $600 million to fund
The union said they requested detailed information about staffing and agency work but were denied.
Officials said Guardian Healthcare, Comprehensive Healthcare, and Priority Healthcare have refused to “meaningfully bargain” over the use of agency staff and lower raises than years prior.
According to the union, nursing homes received $600 million from the state budget and that money comes with the accountability that 70% goes towards staffing and bedside care.
“Our nursing home operates on agency staff almost every week, and they are paid two or three times more, and we even have to train them,” said Donna Pronio, a CNA in Northeast PA. “They also don’t have the bonds and connections with residents like we do, so residents suffer. The money spent on agency could, and should, be spent on hiring full-time permanent staff and investing in those of us who have been here for years. We have been the backbone of our nursing home and struggled through COVID, many of us brought COVID home to our families and one of our coworkers even died. Yet they can’t even offer us healthcare we can afford.”
The union listed the following demands to improve staffing and care:
- Wage increases for the following employees:
- $16/hour for dietary, housekeeping, and other ancillary staff.
- $20/hour for Certified Nursing Assistants.
- $25/hour for Licensed Practical Nurses.
- Employer-paid health insurance.
- Protection of the existing contract in the event of a sale.
- Ensure employers follow new state regulations governing staffing in nursing homes.
- A written commitment not to interfere in any way with the rights of workers who choose to form their union to demand accountability from private equity firms and bad-actor nursing home chains.
According to court documents, a co-owner of two nursing homes was federally charged with conspiracy to defraud the United States and related health care fraud charges. Another owner was forced to pay $15.5 million for allegedly providing unnecessary care for its residents to meet revenue goals.
Staff are set to strike at the following facilities starting September 2.
- The Grove at Irwin: 249 Maus Dr. Irwin, PA 15642
- The Grove at New Castle: 715 Harbor St. New Castle, PA 16101
- The Grove at Harmony: 191 Evergreen Mill Rd. Harmony, PA 16037
- The Grove at Washington: 1198 W Wylie Ave. Washington, PA 15301
- Beaver Valley Healthcare & Rehab: 257 Georgetown Rd Beaver Falls, PA 15010
- Clarion Health & Rehab: 999 Heidrick St Clarion, PA 16214
- Meyersdale Healthcare & Rehab: 201 Hospital Dr Meyersdale, PA 15552
- Oil City Healthcare & Rehab: 1293 Grandview Rd Oil City, PA 16301
- Riverside Rehab & Nursing: 500 Hospital St Taylor, PA 18517
- Titusville Healthcare & Rehab: 81 W Dillon Dr Titusville, PA 16354
- Uniontown Healthcare & Rehab: 129 Franklin Ave Uniontown, PA 15401
- Guardian Elder Care at Nanticoke: 159 Old Newport St #151 Nanticoke, PA 18634
- Richland Healthcare & Rehab: 349 Vo Tech Dr Johnstown, PA 15904
- Belair Healthcare & Rehab: 100 Little Dr Lower Burrell, PA 15068
- The Meadows at Blue Ridge: 10 House Ave Camp Hill, PA 17011
- The Gardens at Easton/Praxis: 500 Washington St. Easton, PA 18042
- Rose City Nursing & Rehab at Lancaster: 425 N Duke St #4905 Lancaster, PA 17602
- The Meadows at York Terrace: 2401 W Market St Pottsville, PA 17901
- Fairlane Gardens Nursing & Rehab at Reading: 21 Fairlane Rd Reading, PA 19606
- The Gardens at Wyoming Valley (Summit): 50 N Pennsylvania Ave Wilkes-Barre, PA 18701
- The Gardens at East Mountain: 101 E Mountain Blvd Wilkes-Barre, PA 18702
- The Meadows at Stroud: 221 E Brown St. East Stroudsburg, PA 18301
- Shenandoah Heights Healthcare: 200 Pennsylvania Ave, Shenandoah, PA 17976
Nursing home administrators must receive a 10-day notice prior to a strike at a healthcare facility.